Baseball’s best prospect, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, injured his left wrist diving for a ball on March 16. At the time the Twins hoped he’d miss just a few days, but he hasn’t played since then and now they don’t expect him to see any game action until at least May.
Assistant general manager Rob Antony told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that “there’s no set timetable” for Buxton’s return and the Twins are “not going to push him.”
Minnesota already lost fellow stud prospect Miguel Sano for the entire season to Tommy John elbow surgery and, just generally speaking, Twins fans could use some good news at some point soon. And it certainly isn’t going to come from the big-league team, which appears headed for a fourth consecutive 95-loss season.
Buxton had been ticketed for Double-A at age 20, but now he’ll need some time at extended spring training first.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.